Wednesday, December 04, 2002


Remember back in 1993 how the so-called "liberal media" attacked our last legitimate president, President Clinton, for an expensive haircut he got on Air Force One while it was parked on the tarmac at LAX? Remember how the story dominated the front pages of newspapers and led off TV newscasts for almost a week? Remember all the stories about LAX reportedly being shut down for almost an entire afternoon? Remember how planes were reportedly circling for hours and other air traffic was reportedly backed up all the way to Cleveland?

Well, here's something you probably don't remember:

It was BS.

Actually, there was one part of the story that was true: He did get an expensive haircut on AF 1 while on the tarmac at LAX. But since when is getting a haircut, even an expensive one, a scandal? Since when is a haircut, even an expensive one, a story that should dominate front pages and broadcast news for almost a week?

The rest of the story was total BS, as Columbia Journalism Review points out:

[New York Newsday reporter Glenn Kessler's] analysis of Federal Aviation Administration records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that, contrary to stories of circling planes, jammed-up runways, and inconvenienced passengers (and contrary, too, to the apology the White House felt pressured to make), only one (unscheduled) air taxi reported an actual (two-minute) delay.

Of course Kessler's story was buried on page 19 in Newsday; it was picked up by AP, but few news outlets chose to run it.

Of course Whitewater was also a hoax.

And Travelgate was also a hoax.

And Filegate was also a hoax.

And Chinagate was also a hoax.

And the same presstitutes who brought you the phony Haircutgate, Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate, and Chinagate "scandals" now praise to the heavens the beautiful garments worn by the Naked, Unelected Emperor who's squatting in President Gore's house.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2002


The Conservative News Network (CNN) just did a story about the "scandal" surrounding.......Sen. John Kerry's haircuts!!! Seems that Sen. Kerry pays $75 to get his locks trimmed, though net sleaze/closet queen Matt Drudge claims he actually pays $150.

And meanwhile....

Convicted Iran-Contra thug (and former apologist and enabler for the mass-murdering terrorist group, the Contras) Eliot Abrams lands himself an important gig in the Shrub "administration," and most of the so-called "liberal media" are silent. Here's the AP story, which you will not find on CNN's site (and which I doubt ever made it to the airwaves):

By Associated Press

December 2, 2002, 8:37 PM EST

WASHINGTON -- Iran-Contra figure Elliott Abrams, who received a pardon from the first President Bush for his role in the scandal and has served in the White House for over a year, has been promoted to a key post among the current President Bush's national security aides.

Abrams was appointed to lead the National Security Council's office for Near East and North African affairs. The senior director job oversees Arab-Israeli relations and U.S. efforts to promote peace in the troubled region.


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Over at Atrios's site, a comment by a well-meaning but IMHO naive poster caught my eye:

In other words, [journalists] did not treat the stories [being pushed by right-wing operatives and publications] skeptically (by which I mean they did not do important fact checking, and they accepted the conservative spin of the issue without reservation). I do not think that makes them hacks - it makes them human. It is not excusable, but I think it is different than deliberately spreading lies and misinformation, which is my understanding of the term hack.

Basically, I thought the writer gave too much benefit of the doubt to today's "journalists," so I corrected him:

No, they're hacks because any reasonably intelligent human being should be able to discern that the ReTHUGs have long been using journalists to spread dishonest BS.

Look, Gene Lyons' "Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater," published in 1996, should've been a wake-up call to American journalism. Lyons exposed mind-boggling dishonesty committed at some of the nation's most respected newspapers, often caused by reporters who took the word of right-wing operatives as gospel while ignoring or downplaying any evidence that tended to exonerate the Clintons in the Whitewater "scandal." And all of this was served with a heavy dose of sneering innuendo designed to smear President and Mrs. Clinton.

Personally, after reading "Fools for Scandal," I'll never trust the New York Times again.

So, how did the journalistic world treat "Fools for Scandal" when it was published? Well, mostly it was ignored, and IIRC there was a short NY Times review dissing "Fools" as a "nasty book."

Lyons's later collaboration with Joe Conason, "The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton," got a little more notice and a lot more attacks from the world of journalism. Both the Washington Post and New York Times assigned reviewers who had very serious conflicts of interest, and much of the other response seemed to consist of ad hominem attacks on the authors, calling them "Clinton apologists" and the like.

IMHO, being a hack is a requirement for working in today's journalistic environment, unless perhaps you're covering fashion or the arts. If you show too much interest in going after ReTHUGs, you'll get a rep as having a "liberal bias" and will eventually either quit out of frustration or get fired. Meanwhile, your colleagues who get caught red-handed writing dishonest stories will continue receiving the plum assignments, the big raises and the promotions.

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